Aughenbaugh is in the banking business, and he and his bank do that
service well. The State Bank of Lincoln president knows that a bank
is just as much about people as it is money. The people who use the
bank and the people who work at the bank are the open assets of a
community bank. Steve understands that perfectly.
To enforce his
attachment as well as availability to the bank's customers, Steve's
office is right inside the front door of the bank and isn't tucked
away in some hard-to-find corner of the bank. It is his personal
availability and relationship with customers as well as staff that
currently has State Bank firing on all cylinders.
Aughenbaugh and his brother, Tom, were was born and raised on a
farm near Kenney, the sons of Duane and Betty Aughenbaugh. A
graduate of Warrensburg-Latham High School in 1978, Steve received
his degree in ag business from ISU in 1982. For a few years he
worked at Farm Credit in Pittsfield but joined the State Bank staff
as an ag loan officer in 1984.
In 2002, at the age of 41, Steve was appointed to take the place
of retiring bank president Terry Brown. When asked if that wasn't a
young age to be promoted to president, Steve acknowledged it might
be, but explained, "The board of directors feels it is important to
promote from within." He added, "We have a great board and we are
really fortunate to have them."
During the interview a recently hired employee stopped in to ask
a question. Steve made it a point to say that the young lady is
doing a great job for them. You could tell that the public praise as
she left was important to her. "I am so fortunate to have such a
tremendous staff. My job is easy when you have really good people
working for you," Steve said.
Doug DeMay, who manages Eagle One Investments at the 111 N.
Sangamon branch of the bank, says that the bank staff is fortunate
to have Steve as their boss. "I don't even know where to start. He
is such a great guy, I can't think of anything about him that isn't
positive," DeMay said. "He is a great friend, and the attitude, the
positive atmosphere he has created in the bank just works its way
through the entire bank. You can tell he understands personal
service. You can tell he really cares. The way he works with and
relates to employees is something you would never see in a big-city
bank, probably in few banks for that matter."
Aughenbaugh explained his approach with bank staff. "I don't
believe in micromanaging. I believe when you have really capable
people that you let them do their job."
Gail Nunnery, a bank vice president and the trust officer, agreed
that Steve practices what he preaches. "He is a fantastic boss and a
terrific person and he is a good leader," she said. "He relies on
everyone to perform at their highest level, yet he is always there
[to top of second column]
The bank has 63 employees. A gathering of everyone for "Teller
Appreciation Night" at Chad's Blind this winter exemplified just how
Steve and his staff interact. The tellers were having a great time.
It was obvious they were enjoying the night and each other's
company. When Aughenbaugh entered the room, everyone stood up,
cheered and applauded. Steve, a little embarrassed at the display,
took off his coat, sat down and visited with his staff, his friends.
It was obvious that there is a respect and fondness for each other
that creates a positive, friendly atmosphere not only in the bank
but outside of it as well.
It is when he talks about the bank he cares so much about that
Aughenbaugh becomes most comfortable. Although, area banks all fare
well in their own ratings, only the State Bank of Lincoln received a
five-star overall rating through September of 2008. Deposits are up
this year by 4.2 percent as the bank approaches $190 million in
assets. The independent rating company Bankrate.com gives the bank
highest marks in all four categories: capital adequacy, asset
quality, earnings and liquidity.
While Aughenbaugh is a hard worker and the bank is special to
him, it is only one layer of him as a person. He is married to Sarah
and they have two children. Laura, a senior at LCHS, will be
attending SIU next year. Their son, Evan, is currently a freshman at
the high school.
Besides running a highly successful community bank and being a
family man, Steve also spends a great deal of time helping the
community in other ways. He is on the board of the Lincoln & Logan
County Development Partnership. He is treasurer for both Castle
Manor's board and the Logan County Shrine Club. He is a member of
Lincoln Masonic Lodge 210 and Lincoln Elks Club. If those weren't
enough outside community interests, he has recently been appointed
chairman of the ALMH board as well.
Rounding out this complete personality, Steve enjoys sports,
including golf, and he hangs with a group of age 50-something men
called the "Bear Babies," who get together on Sundays to cheer on
their Chicago Bears.
It his positive, personable and genuine caring for bank employees
and the community that has made Steve Aughenbaugh this week's
Personality of the Week.